General manager Dave Dombrowski said yesterday that the Tigers are unlikely to re-sign free agents Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, but he also made it clear that they’d like to bring back Ramon Santiago in his old utility man role.
Dombrowski acknowledged that Santiago may be focused on finding a starting job and “it wouldn’t surprise me if someone stepped up and offered him an everyday role and the type of dollars that he’s looking to receive somewhere else.”
Santiago has averaged just 278 plate appearances during the past four years, but he’s hit .266 with a .709 OPS and is a plus defender at shortstop and second base. If he ends up re-signing with Detroit it’ll likely be because he wasn’t offered an everyday job elsewhere.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.